May 1, 2013

When saying 'no' tastes like freedom

You know my current situation: finishing PhD and wanting to change career path next. Crazy, right?

I must confess, the shortage of money and the consequent lack of complete independence have been very tough. Still, for several complex reasons, instead of finishing the thesis as fast as possible, I'm struggling to find the daily motivation to work on it. Thoughts like these run through my mind everyday:

"I should just quit. I should just accept the fact that at this rate I'll take another couple of years to finish. Meanwhile my life is on hold..."

"But I can't quit. I've struggled so hard to get here. I must give this some proper closure."

"I should get a full-time job and work on the thesis on my spare time. But then I'll never finish, and school fees will just accumulate indefinitely..."

"I should just run away from everything to a far far away tropical country and begin afresh!" ;P

When I wrote my last post I was very anxious because I was about to say 'no' to a work proposal in my University. It was steady income for 2 years. Not much, but reasonable given the country's current economical situation. The thing is... I was supposed to be working on the exact same kind of work I'm now doing for my thesis. So basically my life would be just this. Working on this, and then coming home to work a little bit more on this. And the thesis would still be dragging on. But, at last, I could regain my financial independence.

I decided to say no because saying yes would put my dreams on hold for another two more years. And because I suspect I would get physically and psychologically sick if all my time was to be directed to something I'm not interested in.This was a big thing for me because I'm not used to saying 'no'. I say 'yes' by default. Yes, yes, yes. Which means that people and circumstances around me tend to direct the course of my life. Disturbing realization, I know...

So I said 'no'. This may seem simple to many of you, but to me it was wild. It was like truly asserting myself for the first time in a very long time. I was shaking. But I said it, and it felt good.

Ok, so now back to finishing this ugly PhD. At least I know that once I finish it, no other project will scare me as much. I'll be stronger and, finally, I'll be free to do work I love.


Now a little note regarding my current scarceness of posts... Trying to balance thesis+etsy shop+math tutoring+blog hasn't been easy. But I feel bad that I'm not writing more often. The blog was, from the beginning, a great source of joy. For now, however, the plan is to continue writing as much as I can, and to accept that at the time I won't be able to do it as much as I would like to.

I hope that you, my dear blog-friends, have the patience to stick around ;P

See you all soon!


  1. Hi there Mopsa. You made the right decision, I'm sure. I love to read your blog and will stick around indefinitely, no worries :)

    1. Hi Claire :) Thank you so much for your kind words!